"Jamie Lee and the Magic Glasses"
Jamie Lee and the Magic Glasses was originally written to be read to Jamie Lee’s classmates to explain the unusual dark glasses that she wore. Some of her classmates were beginning to wonder about her “special sunglasses” that she wore even when she was indoors and were beginning to tease her about them. Nothing bad really, but no father wants to watch his daughter be teased about something if a little bit of “education” can remedy the problem. The simplest solution seemed to be to draw some pictures to fit the basic text or story of how we found out about Irlen Filtered Glasses and to show the students how much they helped her see the world around her. So I did.
Everyone who saw the book told me that we should get it published and share Jamie Lee’s story with the world. Well friends, that is much easier said than done. Large publishing companies will not even look at an unpublished author’s work. Regardless of the potential benefit to the public or the potential market for the book. So after years of frustration with the publishing system, we adopted the philosophy of the little red hen and we did it ourselves. And I am glad we did. We did it all. The artwork, the copy-editing, proofreading, registration for the ISBN number and barcode, EVERYTHING! And then we handed the project to our new friend Clarence Bush at American Color in Greenbriar, Tennessee for the printing and binding. They did a great job, giving us the book you now see.
I believe that the world needs to know Jamie Lee’s story. Now it is available for parents or teachers to read to classes all over the world when someone asks why their child wears funny looking “sunglasses” indoors. But the best part is when we hear someone say, “I have trouble reading too. I am going to check into this Irlen Web Site.” Wow! That is powerful! Just maybe we have helped another family find a solution to their reading and vision problems! My wife Ruth struggled her whole life trying to read and learn with eyes and a brain that were not working together like a “normal” person does. Any family we can help to avoid this struggle will be a blessing for us and to the world around them. Imagine turning all that time spent “struggling to learn” into actual productive learning time! Potential dropouts can become high school graduates! High school graduates could become college graduates! Forgive me for becoming so excited, but the use of Irlen filters can change lives, futures, and families! Irlen filters changed Jamie Lee’s life. She went from struggling to read, to receiving awards at school for being the most improved. She now is winning awards in 4-H Club for writing stories, giving speeches and making posters. In the past month she had learned to jump rope and kicked a home run in a kickball game at school. Her previous hand-eye coordination and depth perception problems would not allow this to happen. And I believe, we owe it all to her Irlen Filters. So what are you waiting for? Read the book, get tested for Irlen Syndrome and get some glasses if you need them so that you can begin to really SEE, just like my daughter, Jamie Lee!
(Jamie Lee's daddy)
October 2007 updates…
A lot has happened since we published Jamie Lee and the Magic Glasses! Our book has now begun to sell all over the world, to Canada, Australia, Ireland, and England! We seem to be meeting new friends almost everyday when we check our e-mail! We love to hear your stories about how you are using the book in your part of the world!
We are especially pleased with the press coverage that we have received from our new friend Dessislava Yankova, staff writer for the Nashville based Tennessean Newspaper. She has had articles published about our book in the Sumner AM and the Davidson AM edition for us recently. This has greatly helped the word to be spread about Irlen Syndrome in the Middle Tennessee area! Thanks Dessi!
Here is the article and picture as seen in the Tennessean Newspaper, Davidson AM, October 3, 2007.
‘Magic’ Glasses Turn Around Two Lives
A pair of pink glasses changed a Goodlettsville girl’s life.
“It was like magic,” her mother Ruth Luthy says.
Jamie Lee had trouble reading, concentrating, jumping rope and playing sports. The fluorescent lights at school made her jumpy and gave her a headache.
A pair of color-filtered glasses solved these problems, which were caused by a sensory overload associated with a perceptual disorder called Irlen Syndrome.
It started about two years ago when 7-year-old Jamie Lee was a second-grader. “She struggled with reading and had a hard time in school,” Ruth said.
One day Jamie Lee went to a birthday part at a roller skating center. Instead of coming home with a smile, she came with a frown. “I was sick to my stomach,” Jamie Lee said. The bright flashing lights, loud noises and the movement of people had created sensory chaos, overloading her brain, Ruth said. Neither rest nor tutoring helped. Ruth and her husband, Jay Luthy, were puzzled.
They started searching for an answer. They found it after speaking with Ruth’s sister-in-law, Cassie Stewart, who was volunteering at the Literacy Council of Sumner County. Stewart had what was called Irlen Syndrome or Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, a condition where the brain does not correctly understand certain colors of the visible light spectrum. She suggested Jamie Lee also might have that problem.
The Literacy Council in Hendersonville, a United Way Agency, gave Jamie Lee several tests, looking at various pictures meant to cause a sensory overload, council director Margie Anderson said. It’s like having motion sickness because things move,” Anderson explained.
Jamie Lee did. But while she was tested, her mother, who was also looking at the pictures, got sick. Ruth too, had Irlen Syndrome.
“Apparently, I had it all my life,” said Ruth. “If that’s the way you’ve lived all your life, you think that everybody sees that way.”
After the tests, Jamie Lee and Ruth looked through various colored filters to determine which shade best eased the symptoms. The results were then sent to the Irlen Institute in Long Beach, Calif., and in a few weeks a pair of dark-colored glassed for Jamie Lee and blue-colored ones for her mother arrived.
“The first day I put mine on, I was so excited. My whole world came to life,” Ruth remembered. “That night, when Jamie Lee came home, she read like she’s never read before. That’s why we call them the magic glasses.”
But while Jamie Lee’s new glasses brought much joy, they also brought some teasing from her classmates, who “kept asking why she’s wearing sunglasses,” Ruth said.
To clear things up, Jay wrote a short story with simple pictures to present to Jamie Lee’s class. Soon after the story gained popularity, and people with similar problems were asking to borrow the book. Jay made a few copies, but that wasn’t enough. In the spring the Luthys established Wizard Rabbit Publishing out of Goodlettsville. Jay polished up his original black-and-white version to a large-print copy with colored pictures. They also contacted educational psychologist Helen Irlen, who first identified the syndrome in the early 1980s. She agreed to sell Jamie Lee and the Magic Glasses on her web site, www.irlen.com .
We don’t want (people) to suffer all their life,” Ruth said. “We want them to see like Jamie Lee can see.
2013 UPDATE....Now many years later, Jamie Lee is asked to come to schools to read "Her Book" to new generations of young people in our community. What an honor and special privilage to be able to share not only her book, but her story of hope and change to others who might be facing the same challenges in life! As she has grown older her filters have changed several times from the amount and color. Currently at age 15 she is only using two filters, a light blue and a UV layer. What a huge difference from the five layers she required in second grade that made her glasses so dark! Those early dark filtered glasses created the teasing from classmates that prompted the Magic Glasses book to be written and then be published....Jamie Lee, you've come a long way baby! So has your book! Hundreds of copies of your book have been sent all over the world, helping children, parents and teachers learn about Irlen Filtered Glasses!